GLTB librarian information request?

Ree_boy writes: "Hello Lisnewsers, I'm posting this request as a total newbie here. I saw this URL in a regional library newsletter a couple of weeks ago and have been lurking around reading all the interesting news for the past 2-3 weeks. It's only been today that I've had a request from my library director to find some information that I don't believe exists (at least in the format specified to me). Therefore, I created a user account and am proceeding to ask you knowledgeable folks to help prove/disprove my ignorance. The director would like to know if there are any studies available on GLTB librarianship? She's working with a group to review material in the field, but *I* haven't had enough exposure to the field to authoritatively say this is a snipe hunt. Any help, anyone?"

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I don't understand

Is this a study about homosexual, bisexual, and transgendered librarians? Or is it a study about homosexual, bisexual, and transgendered patrons?


If it is the former why would anyone but their significant others know or care, if it is the latter why would librarians treat them any differently than heterosexual, asexual, or celibate patrons.


Why does someone's gender identification or sexual proclivities make the least bit of difference in the provision of library services?


Sorry, I don't have an answer for your question, but only more questions.

GLBT Librarianship

Hello there - Good question...and as the other posted mentioned - it only creates more questions - but here is a quick thought. I joined a list called "Gay-Libn" and while sometimes it gets off track and there are a few flame wars, it is still useful. I would say - check out their archive and/or join the list and post your question there!
http://www-lib.usc.edu/~trimmer/gay-libn.html
Good Luck!
Max

Re:I don't understand

M--If a patron came to you and asked for this information, would you ask them, with a tone of judgment, why they needed the info?

One suggestion

The ALA has a Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgendered Roundtable. You might try contacting them to determine what's available:http://www.ala.org/ala/glbtrt/welcomeglbtround.htm

GLBT Sources

Liberating Minds: The Stories and Professional Lives of Gay, Lesbian, and Bisexual Librarians and Their Advocatesby Norman G. Kester (Editor)This book published by McFarland is a good placeto start.also this site:http://www.library.uiuc.edu/circ/lgbt/guide.htmP.S.As librarians we are always confronted with the unknown and if we are not inspired by the quest to find out something that is beyond our personal knowledge and comfort level, we are in the wrong profession."some information" ALWAYS exists somewhere. We don't always FIND it, but it is there. The collective power of the internet makes finding what we don't personally know about in our limited sphere more accessible, but not always.If I don't find what's asked for I tell people I did not find it but I give them other possible sources to check -- good sources not just "blow off" sources...NEVER think and NEVER tell anyone "it does not exist."

Re:I don't understand

If this question was about teen librarianship, I don't think it would engender this confusion. Teen librarianship is about library service to the teen community. Its not about teenage librarians. So doesn't it naturally follow that GLBT librarianship is about library service to the GLBT community?

Good BLT

When I first saw the story and had not read the comments I did not recognize the acronym GLTB. I thought maybe it was a typo of GBLT which stands for a good bacon, lettuce, and tomato sandwich. In an encedotal study of one librarian researchers have found that librarians like GBLT's.

Re:I don't understand

No, but if another librarian and I were discussing it I would respond as I did.

But that is an interesting point, I do respond to things differently here than I would if someone walked up to me in the library. In the library I would not know if they were a librarian or a libertarian, unless they told me- but if they were asking a reference question in the library it would not matter who they were.

Re:I don't understand

I see your point, but I see this as an internal customer service issue. Someone asked LISNewsters for help, so it seems like good practice to provide that assistance without questioning the validity of their need.

God knows there are plenty of opportunities to legitimatly duke it out here!

Now I have answers....

OK since my orignal posting was thought to be judgemental ( I thought of it more as a reference interview) I had best post some answers.


Here is an annotated bibliography that may prove useful.


Carmichael, J. V. (2000, Winter). They sure got to prove it on me“: Millennial thoughts on gay archives, gay biography, and gay library history. Libraries & Culture, 35, 88-104.
The American Library Association’s Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgendered Task Force (GLBTRT) justly takes pride of place as the first professional gay organization in the world. (1) While the ALA itself ended discrimination based on sexual orientation in 1974, antipathy to gay issues within the profession is by no means dormant. At the same time, the growth in gay archives and gay studies in the past twenty﷓five years has been phenomenal. Gay librarians and archivists can continue to play an increasingly important role in promoting these collections and their use, but only if they understand the full range of historical problems that gay history and biography present. Where appropriate, library historians should also chronicle the achievements of gay library worthies.


Charmichael, J. V. (1995, October). The gay librarian: a comparative analysis of attitudes towards professional gender issues. Journal of Homosexuality, 30, 11-58.
Librarianship is a feminized profession, and like teaching, nursing, and social work with which it shares the occupational traits of a ‘‘semi-profession,’’ its low status and prestige have been attributed to a negative feminine image. To date, discussion of a corresponding male librarian image, general male issues, and the broader topic of gender issues has been minimal within the profession, while serious discussion of gay male librarians and their professional identity has been virtually nil. This study compares the responses of straight and self-identified gay males to an exploratory survey of male members of the American Library Association. The topics covered by the survey include reasons for entry into the field, the existence and identity of a male librarian stereotype, and gender issues generally, including gender stratification of work and sexual discrimination and/or harassment. Self﷓identified gay subjects share many characteristics in common with the straight cohort, including the identification of a gay male stereotype and some denial surrounding gender equity issues. On the other hand, the tentative findings of this exploratory study raise the question of whether both gay and straight male subjects overestimate the number of gay men in librarianship. The report concludes with an update on gay issues within the profession since the survey was completed, and recommendations for further research.


Clarke, K. L. (1997). Collection development for a special population: gays, lesbians and bisexuals. Unpublished master’s thesis, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC.
Clarke discusses collection development methods for a special population: gays, lesbians and bisexuals.


Schell, L. E. (2001). Workplace identity management issues of lesbian and bisexual librarians. Unpublished master’s thesis, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC.
Schell discussses the problems lesbian and bisexual librarians face in the workplace as they relate to their gender or sexual identity.


Schwartz, J. (1992, June). The Archivist’s Balancing Act: Helping Researchers While Protecting Individual Privacy. The Journal of American History, 79, 179﷓189. Retrieved April 22, 2005, from JSTOR database.
An interesting look at not the gay librarian or patron, but the gay subject or author who may wish to maintain privacy. Throws yet another wrench into the works when we were orignially concerned about only the librarian or patron .


Signorino, C. F. (1997, Winter). The good news (and the bad) about library resources for gay & lesbian youth. New Jersey Libraries, 31, 6-15.
Discusses collection development for teens, specifically addressing the needs of gay and lesbian youth.


Van Buskirk, J. (2005, April). Collection Development [Special section]. Library Journal, 62.
Van Buskirk, a collection development librarian in San Francisco in his column “Out of the Closet?� describes and provides useful tools for the librarian serving the gay and lesbian patron. Van Buskirk describes some of the references he uses, and provides a list of core titles for a collection designed to serve a diverse population.

In fact, the entire Winter 1997 issue of New Jersey Libraries seems to be devoted to the concerns of the GLBT population. I think it would prove to be a most valuable starting point in your research (assuming you can obtain a in print or online. I used H. W. Wilson)

Re:I don't understand

OK ... think of that as a reference interview and see what is currently the last post in the thread for an annotated bibliography.


Sometimes I have more questions before I can provide answers.


Sometimes I just an ornery SOB :}

Re:I don't understand

Not really, few teens have Masters degrees. Is a study of horsemanship a study of those that ride horses, or the riding of horses? The people or the practice.


That is what my online reference interview was for; to clarify the question.

Re:Good BLT

In another study, the role of the GMTL, or good mutton, lettuce, and tomato sandwich, it was discovered that the MLT was second only to True Love in terms of greatness. The study author further found that the "greatness effect" was achieved when the mutton is nice and lean, and the tomato is ripe...
They're so perky. I love that.

Re:Now I have answers....

Thank you,

I believe my director is on the ALA GLBT roundtable and that is why she made the request in the first place.

Yes, I did expect to get flamed for asking the question itself and yes, I did feel a little heat from your first post. I'm glad to find that your wish to impart knowledge overcame your curiousity about why someone would ask the question in the first place.

I don't *know* if I'll become a professional librarian. I do know that I've had a lifelong committment to learning and that this "snipe hunt" has proven to me that there's more information out there than I could have imagined. LISNews is a site that I've enjoyed since finding it. The topics wouldn't arouse the interest of Joe Public, but they are some of the most thought provoking issues and news that I've read in awhile.

Re:GLBT Librarianship

Thanks Max,

I realized my question would cause some controversy, but I also had hope that the need to provide answers would outweigh the need to question why someone would ask in the first place. :-)

I will pass the URL on to my director and hope she sees fit to pursue her request herself.

Al

Re:One suggestion

Thanks Anonymous,

I believe my director is on the roundtable and hence part of the reason for her request.

Al

Re:GLBT Sources

Thanks again Anonymous,

I appreciate your response. While there have been questions about why I would make such a request in the first place I am happy to find that many of the responses (including yours) have proven fruitful in answering my initial question.

I most appreciated your last paragraph. I hope I've never claimed to be an authority on anything and while I've had my doubts about what information is available I also hope that I don't come to the point where I persuade myself to belive that "it does not exist." :-)

Re:Now I have answers....

I really don't mean to (and didnt't mean to) sound critical. I often come off that way, I am direct but I don't mean to beat people up. Rochelle has become good at pointing out when I do.


Oh well, I hope my bibliography helped a little.

Re:Now I have answers....

I wrote a paper on this topic a few years ago when I was in Library School. My bibliography for that paper is below. It's a bit out of date but there are some good resources there. Hope it helps.

Alyson, Sasha. “What Librarians Should Know About Gay and Lesbian Publishing.� Collection Building 6.1 (Spring 1984): 22-23.

Armstrong, Elizabeth. “Traitors to the Cause? Understanding the Lesbian/Gay ‘Bisexuality Debates’.� Bisexual Politics: Theories, Queries, and Visions. Ed. Naomi Tucker. New York: Harrington Press, 1995. 199-217.

Ashby, Richard. “Library Services to Gay and Lesbian People.� Assistant Librarian 80 (Oct. 1987): 153-155

Bryant, Eric. “Making Things Perfectly Queer.� Library Journal 118.7 (1993): 106-109.
---. “Pride and Prejudice.� Library Journal 120.11 (1995): 37-39.

Carmichael, James V. and Marilyn L. Shotz. “The Last Socially Acceptable Prejudice: Gay and Lesbian Issues, Social Responsibilities, and Coverage of these Topics in M.L.I.S./M.L.S. Programs.� Library Quarterly 66 (1996): 21-58.

Creelman, Janet A.E. and Roma M. Harris. “Coming Out: The Information Needs of Lesbians.� Collection Building 10.3-4 (1990): 37-41.

Gough, Cal and Ellen Greenblatt. “Services to Gay and Lesbian Patrons: Examining the Myths.� Library Journal 117.1 (1992): 59-63.

Joyce, Steven. “Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual Library Service: A Review of the Literature.� Public Libraries 39 (2000): 270+.

Joyce, Steven and Paulette M. Rothbauer. “Ten Suggestions to Improve Library Services to Lesbian, Gay and Bisexual People.� Public Libraries. 39 (2000): 271.

Joyce, Steven and Alvin M. Schrader. “Hidden Perceptions: Edmonton Gay Males and the Edmonton Public Library.� Canadian Journal of Information and Library Science 22 (1997): 19-37.

Kingston, Matthew J. Information Access of GLBT College Students. 9 Oct. 2001.

Kniffel, Leonard. “Gay Liberation: From Task Force to Round Table.� American Libraries. 30.11 (1999): 74-76.

Martin-Damon, Kory. “Essay for the Inclusion of Transsexuals.� Bisexual Politics: Theories, Queries, and Visions. Ed. Naomi Tucker. New York: Harrington Press, 1995. 241-249.

Montgomery, Alasdair and Alison Behr. “Significant Others.� Assistant Librarian (1988): 164-168.

Norman, Mark. “Out on Loan: A Survey of the Use and Information Needs of Users of the Lesbian, Gay and Bisexual Collection of Brighton and Hove Libraries.� Journal of Librarianship and Information Science 31.4 (1999): 188-196.

Spence, Alex. “Gay Young Adult Fiction in the Public Library.� Public Libraries. (1999); 224+.
---. “Controversial Books in the Public Library: A Comparative Survey of Holdings of Gay-Related Children’s Picture Books.� Library Quarterly. 70 (2000): 335-379.

Stenback, Tanis L. and Alvin M. Schrader. “Venturing from the Closet: A Qualitative Study of the Information Needs of Lesbians.� Public Library Quarterly 17.3 (1999): 37-50.

Re:Now I have answers....

Yikes!! I missed adding the formatting. Sorry!! That's a mess. Here is a cleaner copy.

Alyson, Sasha. “What Librarians Should Know About Gay and Lesbian Publishing.� Collection Building 6.1 (Spring 1984): 22-23.

Armstrong, Elizabeth. “Traitors to the Cause? Understanding the Lesbian/Gay ‘Bisexuality Debates’.� Bisexual Politics: Theories, Queries, and Visions. Ed. Naomi Tucker. New York: Harrington Press, 1995. 199-217.

Ashby, Richard. “Library Services to Gay and Lesbian People.� Assistant Librarian 80 (Oct. 1987): 153-155

Bryant, Eric. “Making Things Perfectly Queer.� Library Journal 118.7 (1993): 106-109.
---. “Pride and Prejudice.� Library Journal 120.11 (1995): 37-39.

Carmichael, James V. and Marilyn L. Shotz. “The Last Socially Acceptable Prejudice: Gay and Lesbian Issues, Social Responsibilities, and Coverage of these Topics in M.L.I.S./M.L.S. Programs.� Library Quarterly 66 (1996): 21-58.

Creelman, Janet A.E. and Roma M. Harris. “Coming Out: The Information Needs of Lesbians.� Collection Building 10.3-4 (1990): 37-41.

Gough, Cal and Ellen Greenblatt. “Services to Gay and Lesbian Patrons: Examining the Myths.� Library Journal 117.1 (1992): 59-63.

Joyce, Steven. “Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual Library Service: A Review of the Literature.� Public Libraries 39 (2000): 270+.

Joyce, Steven and Paulette M. Rothbauer. “Ten Suggestions to Improve Library Services to Lesbian, Gay and Bisexual People.� Public Libraries. 39 (2000): 271.

Joyce, Steven and Alvin M. Schrader. “Hidden Perceptions: Edmonton Gay Males and the Edmonton Public Library.� Canadian Journal of Information and Library Science 22 (1997): 19-37.

Kingston, Matthew J. Information Access of GLBT College Students. 9 Oct. 2001. http://matthewkingston.com/libraryscience/503-pape r.htm

Kniffel, Leonard. “Gay Liberation: From Task Force to Round Table.� American Libraries. 30.11 (1999): 74-76.

Martin-Damon, Kory. “Essay for the Inclusion of Transsexuals.� Bisexual Politics: Theories, Queries, and Visions. Ed. Naomi Tucker. New York: Harrington Press, 1995. 241-249.

Montgomery, Alasdair and Alison Behr. “Significant Others.� Assistant Librarian (1988): 164-168.

Norman, Mark. “Out on Loan: A Survey of the Use and Information Needs of Users of the Lesbian, Gay and Bisexual Collection of Brighton and Hove Libraries.� Journal of Librarianship and Information Science 31.4 (1999): 188-196.

Spence, Alex. “Gay Young Adult Fiction in the Public Library.� Public Libraries. (1999); 224+.

---. “Controversial Books in the Public Library: A Comparative Survey of Holdings of Gay-Related Children’s Picture Books.� Library Quarterly. 70 (2000): 335-379.

Stenback, Tanis L. and Alvin M. Schrader. “Venturing from the Closet: A Qualitative Study of the Information Needs of Lesbians.� Public Library Quarterly 17.3 (1999): 37-50.

Re:Now I have answers....

Thanks again,
Yes, your bibliography was a definte help. I do appreciate directness and as I've said, I knew the request would cause some controversy.

My own initial reaction was, "Why this request?" But, as a new employee, my next thought was "mine is not to question why, mine is but to..." ;-)

Re:Now I have answers....

Thanks bunches Sheherazade,

I appreciate your taking the time to make your info pleasing to the eye. :-) Content is what I'm after, but presentation makes a difference in the reading.

GLBT ROund Tabel at ALA

You might want to contact the GLBT Round Table via ALA. I am sure the librarians active in this Round Table will have some valuable information for you and your director.

Re:GLBT ROund Tabel at ALA

I believe my director's on the roundtable, and thus the request.

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